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False Assets Declaration: Saraki’s Senators At CCT Shrink From 81 to 12

Senate President Bukola Saraki has arrived at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) where his trial for alleged false declaration of assets continues.

He arrived at 10:05am in company of at least 12 senators.

Some of the senators are Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president; Sam Anyanwu, Dino Melaye and Andy Uba.

This is the lowest number of senators to accompany him to the CCT since the beginning of his case in September 2015  – the highest being 81.

In addition, this is the second day of his trial which started on Tuesday.

Although, this is the eighth time the senate president will appear at the CCT, his trial actually started on Tuesday.

The first time was on September 22, 2015 after the tribunal had issued a bench warrant for his arrest. He was accompanied to the tribunal by at least 50 senators on that day.

On the same day, he entered the dock, but he pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of false declaration of assets brought against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

The second time was on October 21, 2015 when he was accompanied to the tribunal by at least 81 senators.

And the third time was on November 5, 2015, when his lawyers  –Joseph Daodu and Mahmud Magaji  – withdrew from the case in protest of the decision of the tribunal to continue the matter despite an appeal against the constitution and jurisdiction of the tribunal at the supreme court.

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The fourth time was on March 11, after the ruling of the supreme court upholding the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him while the fifth time was on March 18 when an application to stop his trial was heard.

The sixth time was on March 24 when the tribunal ruled that his trial must continue.

The seventh time was April 5 when the prosecution called its first witness, who narrated how Saraki allegedly laundered billions of naira using fictitious names.

The senate president had gone the whole hog to challenge his trial at the CCT, but he failed at every turn.

On February 5, the apex court dismissed an appeal to stop his trial paving the way for the continuation of the case at the CCT.

On Tuesday, Danladi Umar, chairman of the CCT, dismissed Saraki’s application for adjournment.

Ruling on the application, Umar held that the issue of jurisdiction of the tribunal had already been settled by the supreme court, adding that a motion for adjournment based on an appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal at the appeal court was unnecessary.

He, therefore, ordered the prosecution to produce its witnesses, and the trial commenced.

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